I took a detour from my usual reading genres to take a trip through the baseball field. One of the main activities in my house when my children were growing up was watching baseball, playing baseball, reading about baseball, studying baseball,. . . well, you get the picture. My son grew up eating and breathing baseball. From the time he could hold a ball, he was always throwing. My son had incredible control and aim. One of our favorite family lore stories is when my son was barely walking, we visited a friend. The friend had a son four months younger than mine, and the son had a duck with a wooden egg that twirled on the wheels of the duck. My son picked up the egg and threw it to the other baby, hitting him square in the forehead, giving him a significant pump knot.
I haven't encountered Jake Smith's writing in my reading forays, but he does write a good story. He has done his research well, and he uses his research to enrich his novel. He has true talent in telling a tale.
James McConnell is the assistant high school baseball coach and is married with two children whom he loves more than life. When the news comes that his son's leukemia has returned, he is more than devastated. With Aaron in the hospital near Detroit, James and the rest of the family move into Aaron's hospital room for the duration of Aaron's treatments.
Curt Howard of the Detroit Tigers comes to visit Aaron and brings him several Tiger souvenirs. He tells Aaron if there is anything else he wants to let him know. Aaron asks Curt to lean down because he wants to ask something but he doesn't want to say it out loud. After whispering with Curt a few minutes, Aaron goes to sleep and Curt promises to get them tickets to a game. Aaron stays close mouthed about his wish, wanting to surprise his family.
For me to tell much more of the story would be to spoil it for anyone else who wants to read it. Jake makes the transitions between the elements of the story so smoothly, he keeps the reader engaged and makes the book very hard to put down. The emotions are real and palpable, the characters are believable and sympathetic, and I was thorougly enthralled with the book so much that I stayed up waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime two nights in a row to read it.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a signed baseball for your collection.
This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale House Publishers. No remuneration was offered or taken for my opinions.